Stereotyped

August 4, 2007

I am a Sindhi from Ulhasnagar (The infamous USA of India).

The above sentence is enough for some people to classify me as some girl who has been living a secluded life in a really dirty town all her life and who cannot, try as she may, speak proper English without having a trace of Sindhi accent in every sentence she utters.

My college crowd was conspicuously divided between sindhis and non-sindhis. Sindhis were shunned by the “others” like we had some terminal contagious disease. We were ridiculed, made fun of our accent and of our ‘bling-affection’, when it came to clothes. Sindhis have always loved ‘bling’ in any and every form. I won’t deny the fact that the Sindhi girls in my were dressed everyday like they had just walked off an award function for soap operas. I won’t even deny that we never got around to properly pronounce some of the words in Hindi, which apparently caused a hell lot of pain to “the others” for some unkown reason.

I, however, was one of the few Sindhis who could penetrate in the world of “the others”, where we had to live in a constant vigil regarding our attire and accent, because any slip-up would cause us to be banned and publicily humiliated in “their world”. Some people were even dumbfounded when their question of what I like to do was answered with “reading” than “shopping” by me. They couldn’t, for the love of god , imagine a Sindhi with a book in his/her hand which was supposed to be read for pleasure and not out of academic obligation. We were always Sindhis and Non-Sindhis in my college, it was like a sole identity for every student there. It was like a silent war between the two halves of the college.

“The others”, however, weren’t as brutal as I have made them out to be. But some of the things that really irked me about them was that, they never missed an opportunity to hurl abuses at Sindhi people. Sindhis were like an outlet for their rage towards college. They ridiculed and criticised the college and the town. I was always left to wonder why would they come from so far to spend some of the memorable years of their lives at a place that they hate. Some of them came from places as far away as Mulund.

To my bemusement, never in my 5 years that I spent in my college, did I see any Sindhis ridiculing or criticising “the others”. They merely kept away from “them”. No Sindhi seemed to get too friendly with “the others”. Maybe they sensed the hostility oozing from them or maybe Sindhis were hostile towards “the others” too and I was too busy defending my clan to see the other side.

 

PS: The above post is not intended to hurt anyone’s feelings. All my friends are “the others”.         I love all my friends.